Jack Rodwell is hoping he can be the man to fill the void in centre midfield if and when Yaya Toure leaves for the Africa Cup of Nations early in the New Year.
The 21-year-old has not made an appearance for the Blues since the 3-0 win over Sunderland in October after picking up a hamstring injury while on international duty with England’s u21s.
“I’ve just had a little bit of a setback with my hamstring injury, it will probably be another few weeks, so I’m looking into the New Year,” he revealed.
“I’m doing quite a lot of training at the minute though, so I’m keeping busy.
“It’s down to strengthening now, so I’m doing a lot of work in the gym and am just getting it right to prevent another injury.
“It’s been a frustrating start to the season and to my City career, bit I’m focused now and I’m ready to get back.”
Roberto Mancini showed his faith in the young midfielder, starting him against both Southampton and QPR early on in the campaign and bringing him off the bench against Liverpool, Arsenal and Sunderland.
With Yaya Toure certain to be selected in the Ivory Coast’s Africa Cup of Nations squad – which could see him absent for up to six weeks - it is likely the manager will look to Rodwell as one of the suitable replacements, if he is fully fit.
“Yaya would be a big loss for us. He’s been amazing so far and has been the engine in midfield, so he would be missed,” declared Rodwell.
But hopefully there will be a space there for me and hopefully I can fill the void when he leaves.
Despite his early setback, Jack says he is settling in well in his new home and can’t wait to get back on the pitch to show everyone his true potential.
“It’s been a massive change for me, it’s the first time I’ve had a new club so I’m still adapting, but all the lads have been great and the manager’s been great, I’m just really enjoying it at the moment,” he smiled.
“Hopefully I’ll get a bit more time on the pitch in the New Year and get an opportunity to show what I can do.
“I just want to stay fit, keep working hard and hopefully I will get my chance and when I do I will grab it with both hands.”